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Street smarts: The proliferation of gourmet food trucks on city streets

What do a former investment banker, bassoonist, lawyer and cab driver all have in common? It may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but in fact, they’re all driving food trucks.

Whether you live in Miami, Cincinnati, Atlanta or Los Angeles, you’ve probably noticed food trucks popping up on city streets. Need to Know explored this growing industry through the story of 28-year-old Oleg Voss, the owner of the Schnitzel & Things truck in New York City. Find out how he went from a plush job in Vienna, Austria, to selling street meat.

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  • Cbator

    um…it’s Vienna, Austria…not Austria, Vienna…

  • Justin

    These are great particularly in an area where food options are limited in or around an office complex, construction site, late night in front of a bar/ club/ music venue, and festivals. they are not great when they show up in areas where there are already established restaurants and the owners are paying rent (brick and mortar), employee wages, insurance, supply orders, utilities, workers comp., city earning fees, window cleaners, trash removal, etc… please keep in mind the cost’s to everyone. txs.

  • Ntkonpbs

    This has been fixed.

  • Clint David Samuel

    There are at least 15 million unemployed now, plus a couple million new college dropouts each year and 11-20 million illegal workers floating around. Anyone who wants to suggest that we all should move to Brooklyn and become street vendors because of the recession should first read John Kennedy Toole’s book about the art of street vending, “A Confederacy of Dunces.” We can’t all become internet entrepreneurs and service workers. Still its a nice human interest slice-of-life story. I’d be interested to hear details about Mr. Voss’ secret financing. Jon Meacham appears to disagree with Fitzgerald, but I look at it differently. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  • Anonymous

    When I was a bicycle messenger in Philly back at the early years of Bush’s second term, I used to go to a nice little chrome street vendor trailer (when the line was not to long) on JFK and maybe 19th or so (it is sad but I can’t trust my memory about the specific location, but it is at least within two blocks). There was a vendor there who sold grilled falafel that was absolutely divine. And he had a personality to match. There were pretzel/hot dog/kielbasa type carts all over the city. In my my experience of Philly and Manhattan, these things you take for granted, these food carts where everywhere. There were also fruit salad carts that gave you incredibly generous portions of fruit for incredibly low prices (around two bucks ) for Enormous quantities of fruit.

    Anyhow, this Greek guy with a super swell personality, was my first experience with a truly gourmet (did I spell it right) food cart. He grilled everything: vegetables, meat (if you liked) falafel, on some kind of nice smelly real sort of grill, the lines were pretty long, but it was worth it. Philly is full of great, legendary, food eating-type establishments, but this Greek guy made a name for himself overnight, unfortunately I doubt his profits really reflected the fine quality of his efforts and his food. He obviously did it for love (when I questioned him, he made it clear that it was only a temporary project, he said he didn’t like paying rent and kissing ***). The man was a genius, I am happy to see others following the same sort of track. Good story, though it makes me hungry….I miss the East Coast.

  • Anonymous

    I neglected the wonderful asian food carts, Good stuff, and cheap. Over here in Washington State, I pay the same price for kim-chee as I would for a whole meal plus kim-chee in Philly.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry, it was not the early years of Bush’s second term, it was the early years of his first term, right about the time we bombed Baghdad. My apologies.

  • ruthiebee

    I thought this segment was just great – the Ukrainian immigrant who went to Brooklyn, worked in dead end jobs, got a business degree, went to Austria – then hit LIFO – and started his own Schnitzel business.. a great narrative and the presentation was just right… No, he didn’t win the Vendy award but he is a happy man “doing his thing” as his own man. – a heart warming offset to last week’s segment on the newly jobless and becoming homeless – gut-wrenching portrayal – putting a face on numbers.. where do Republicans get this notion that all the jobless are looking for is unemployment handouts… clearly these Republicans are not personally dealing with being jobless & homeless. This is a great series. I look forward to staying in touch with the broadcast and the website. ruthiebee-Schenectady

  • Producer

    Thank you for your comments!

    Jackeline Pou

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  • Dan Zahra

    After 23 years in the IT and business machine field then being told “we are moving your job to Tucker Georgia when I work from home as an IT support engineer. Was enough for me to make the decision to follow my dream. This gentleman’s statement sums it up perfect!! “I never want to work for some body else again”. I simply cant trust them.

    Come out to California and I’ll soon dish you up something special. ;)